Jan. 26, 2004
I recently heard a commentary by former UCLA coach and current ESPN analyst Steve Lavin about the strength of the mid-majors.
I couldn't agree more with Lavin. There's no doubt that there is more parity in college basketball than ever. Whether talking about the so-called mid-majors or about schools in the bigger conferences that lack the notoriety of the traditional powers, there is competition everywhere.
Just look at Richmond's 69-68 win at Kansas on Thursday. Coach Jerry Wainwright's Spiders responded at one of the toughest places to play in America, Allen Field House. Then Richmond came through with another big W, getting a victory at Xavier.
The number of upsets might be even higher if more majors agreed to play the Cinderellas.
Think back to earlier this season when Cal-Poly knocked off California and USC. Remember how Northern Iowa took down Iowa. Lubbock Christian of the NAIA upset Rhode Island.
The shocker of them all so far came in the Big 12, which I projected to be the nation's best conference before the season started. Tiny Belmont -- not Belmont Abbey or Belmont Park, baby -- stunned Missouri in Columbia. The hits just keep on coming!
When you look at all the magical moments, understand the importance of the 3-point shot. You don't necessarily need a big man to dominate the game any more.
The number of upsets might be even higher if more majors agreed to play the Cinderellas and gave them a chance.
College basketball is as exciting as ever. Welcome to the world of big-time hoops. As we get closer to March Madness, this could be as unpredictable a postseason as we've had in years.
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